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Krishna Adhikari

Krishna Adhikari On 6 June 2004, Krishna Prasad Adhikari, a resident of Fujel village of Gorkha District, was murdered in Chitwan District by Maoist cadres. Krishna Prasad was visiting his grandparents after having taken the SLC examinations, and he was abducted from Bakullahar Chowk by men who came on a motorcycle ...
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Maina Sunuwar

Maina Sunuwar Around 6 am on February 17, 2004, a group of RNA soldiers arrested Ms Maina Sunuwar, a 15-year-old schoolgirl of Kharelthok VDC-6, Kavre district. She disappeared since her arrest. Her family members, with support from villagers and school where Maina was a student, visited detention centers ...
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Sanjeev Kumar Karna

Sanjeev Kumar Karna Sanjeev Kumar Karna was one among the 11 persons arrested on October 8, 2003. On that fateful day, they had gone to attend a picnic program organized by the students at a place called Kariyachauri VDC-4, and from picnic, they went to Kataiya Chowri Area of Dhanusha district where they ate some food ...
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Arjun Bahadur Lama

Arjun Bahadur Lama, 48 years in age, permanent resident of Chhatrebas VDC -5, Dapcha in Kavre district was abducted by a group of Maoist cadres, three in number, on 29 April 2005 (2062.1.16 BS) from the premises of Sri Krishna Secondary School at Chhatrebas VDC-1 of the district.
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Hari Prasad Bolakhe

Hari Prasad Bolakhe, 35 (while missing) a permanent resident of Phulbari VDC-8, Kavre district, a pastor by profession, had been missing since the arrest December 27, 2003, was reportedly killed by security persons. A team of National Human Rights Commission discovered a human skeleton in a jungle ...
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Sarala Sapkota

Around 11 p.m. on July 15, 2004, a group of 12 armed soldiers arrested Sarala Sapkota at her grandfather’s house. The family, who witnessed the arrest, stated that soldiers gave Sarala no reason for her arrest. After her arrest, Sarala’s family went to Baireni barracks and the DPO ...
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Birendra Shah

On the evening of 5 October 2007, Mr. Birendra Shah, 34, resident of Inruwasira VDC-8, Bara district, a local journalist of Bara district and correspondent of Nepal FM, Avenues Television and Dristi weekly, was abducted by Maoists from Pipara Bazaar in Kalaiya, the district headquarters of Bara ...
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Bishwanath Parajuli, Tom Nath Poudel and Dhan Bahadur Tamang

Three persons namely Bishwonath Parajuli (also called Nagendra Parajuli), Tom Nath Poudel and Dhan Bahadur Tamang of Hasandaha VDC, Morang were shot dead by the security personnel on 28 September 2004. According to the eyewitnesses, other victims and the villagers, about 16 people were arrested ...
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Chot Nath Ghimire and Shekhar Nath Ghimire

Chot Nath Ghimire, a 58-year-old farmer, resident of Ishaneshor VDC-4, Ratamate Majhpokhari of Lamjung district was allegedly arrested by the Joint Security Forces of Joint Security Camp stationed at Bhorlatar VDC, Lamjung district on February 2, 2002 (2058.10.20). The security camp called Mr. ...
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Bhauna Tharu

Bhauna Tharu (Bhauna Chaudhary in the citizenship card), 21 years old male (at the time of the incident; Date of Birthe: 8 September 1978), son of Purna Bahadur Chaudhary, permanent resident of Sujanpur village, Neulapur VDC-4, Bardiya district, and an employee of Rastriya Gobar Gas, Gulariya, ...
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Close Encounters

Stories from the Frontline of Human Rights Work in Nepal

Close Encounters
During Nepal’s armed conflict and its aftermath, human rights violations not only scarred and destroyed the victims but had a devastating effect on the lives of human rights defenders.
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The recent decision of the District Court in Dailekh could help to speed up TJ process in Nepal: Advocacy Forum welcomes the decision of the District Court of Dailekh

16 December, 2021: On 12 December 2021, the District Court Dailekh has convicted three more accused involved in Dekendra Thapa’s case for murder. While two of the main accused got 20 years of imprisonment, one got 3 years for abetting the murder. This decision upholds the principle of justice refusing to accept the argument of the political parties and the Government that the conflict era cases to be dealt with by the farce Transitional Justice mechanism, i.e. the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Radio journalist, Dekendra Thapa was abducted by the then rebel group, the Nepal Communist Party Maoist on 26 June 2004 and tortured to death. After four years of relentless efforts of the family including the HRDs and journalists, his dead body was exhumed on 26 June 2008 from Dwari VDC-1, Dailekh with technical assistance from the National Human Rights Commission. 

His wife Laxmi Thapa had logged a First Information Report (FIR) in 2008. However, police conducted no investigation on the case arguing that a political consensus was needed for them to allow investigation in conflict-era cases as they were instructed that those cases will be handled by to be established transitional justice (TJ) mechanism.

His wife had challenged the lack of investigation on the case on 12 December 2012 by filing a writ of mandamus in Appellate Court Surkhet, refusing to accept the argument that to be established TRC will investigate the case.

However, after the arrest of Kumar Lama in the UK under the universal jurisdiction in early 2013, police and prosecutor in Dailekh had emboldened themselves and arrested 5 alleged perpetrators, namely Lacchiram Gharti Magar, Nirak Bahadur Gharti Magar, Bir Bahadur KC alias Birasat, Harilal Pun Magar, Jaya Bahadur Shahi while four others Arun alias Bam Bahadur Khadka, Mukti alias Bam Bahadur Khadka, Keshav Khadka and Bhaktiram Lamichhane were still absconding. The persecutor indicted 9 of them for murder.

Lacchiram Gharti, one of the arrested, provided his statement to the police and the public prosecutor saying that he and others had buried Dekendra alive after severely torturing him as per the party leader’s instruction. He further added that he wanted to unburden himself by revealing the truth and facing the charges.

However, on 9 January 2013, the then Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and the then-Attorney General of Nepal, Mukti Pradhan had directed the police to immediately halt all investigations into the case. They claimed that these cases would be dealt with by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and that criminal proceedings in conflict-era cases would threaten the peace process.

These acts of the Prime Minister and the Attorney General were challenged in the Supreme Court as obstruction of justice by filing a writ of mandamus. The writ also sought an order against these authorities not to obstruct justice and an order against the police and prosecutor in the district to move ahead with the prosecution. The Supreme Court reinforced that justice cannot be in a vacuum; the state cannot prevent access to justice for victims stating that yet-to-be established TJ mechanisms, whose mandates were not even clear, will provide them justice. The order required police and prosecutor to investigate and prosecute the case. This resulted in filing of the murder charges against the 9 accused, where five of them were arrested, four including the primary perpetrators remained absconded. Family members and human rights activists alleged that those absconders had received protection from the Maoist party, who was in Government at the time.

In  December  2014,  the  District  Court  Dailekh  convicted  five of those arrested for abetting  the murder. The court sentenced Nirak Gharti Magar, Harilal Pun and Jaya Bahadur Shahi to two years of imprisonment. Lachhiram Gharti Magar and Bir Bahadur KC were punished with one and a half years and one year of imprisonment respectively.

The lawyers representing the accused, including the ones provided by the then party in Government, the CPN- Maoists, argued that conflict-era cases need to be handled by the yet to be established TRC. They further argued the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) provides amnesty to Maoist cadre for conflict-era cases.

Two years ago, one of the absconders in the case, Arun alias Bam Bahadur Khadka was arrested and detained while awaiting trial. The district court on 12 December 2021 sentenced him to 20 years of imprisonment for murdering Dekendra Thapa. Mukti alias Bam Bahadur Khadka and Keshav Khadka have also been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment in absentia.  Bhaktiram Lamichhane has received 3 years of imprisonment for abetting the murder.

Advocacy Forum has been accompanying family members in their quest for justice from the beginning and providing  legal  assistance  in  this case from the very beginning of filing the FIR with the Police. The Federation of Nepalese Journalists also regularly followed the case.

The recent decision of the District Court in Dailekh could help to speed up TJ process in Nepal: Advocacy Forum welcomes the decision of the District Court of Dailekh (English Version)

The recent decision of the District Court in Dailekh could help to speed up TJ process in Nepal: Advocacy Forum welcomes the decision of the District Court of Dailekh (Nepali Version)

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